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Chapter Summary's of To Kill A Mockingbird Chapter 1: Scout's father, Atticus Finch, studied law in Montgomery while supporting his brother, John "Jack" Hale Finch, who was in medical school in Boston. His sister Alexandra is living at the Landing. Atticus began his law practice in Maycomb, the county seat of Maycomb County, where his office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, and a checkerboard. His first case entailed his defense of two men who refused to plead guilty for second-degree murder. They instead pleaded not guilty for first-degree murder, and were hung, marking probably the beginning of my father's profound distaste for criminal law.
Her father is a peaceful man, while her family's black cook, Calpurnia, is strict, but nice. Scout and Jem's mother died of a heart attack when Scout was two, and only Jem has occasional memories for her. The real excitement begins with the first meeting between Scout, Jem, and "Dill", a feisty, imaginative boy who is nearly seven but very small for his age. From Meridian, Mississippi, Dill will be spending the summer at the nearby house of Miss Rachel Haverford, his aunt. He impresses the Finch children with his dramatic acting of the movie Dracula, from which Dill gets Scout and Jems friendship and respect. By late summer the children turn their thoughts toward the Radley place, a mysterious household on a curb beyond the Finch house which is said to have a mysterious man, by the name of Boo Radley, living in it.
Though never seen by the children, he is rumored by popular superstition to be over six feet tall, with rotten yellow teeth, popping eyes and a drool, eating raw animals. He is often named as the source of strange evil. Mr. Radley has always only been seen only on his daily trip to collect groceries from 11: 30 am to 12: 00 pm, and the family worshipped in their own home on Sundays. Their youngest son, Arthur, become mixed with a gang of boys who were finally arrested and brought to court after driving an old car through the town square and locking Maycomb's beadle in an outhouse.
Though the other boys went to industrial school, Arthur, Boo, Radley's family preferred to keep him hidden inside the home. After fifteen years of this invisibility, it was said that the thirty-three-year-old Boo stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors. Refusing to permit his son to be deemed insane or charged with criminal behavior, Mr. Radley allowed Boo to be locked up in the courthouse basement. Boo is eventually brought back to the Radley home. After Mr.
Radley's death, his older brother Nathan arrived to continue keeping Boo inside and out of sight. Dill dares Jem to go inside the Radley's' front gate. After three days of pondering, Jem's fear of Boo subsides to his sense of honor when Dill changes his terms, daring Jem to only touch the house. Jem finally agrees to do this.
He runs, touches the house, and the three scramble back to the Finches' porch, where looking down the street to the Radley house Jem and Dill thought they saw an inside of a shutter movement, and the house was still. Chapter 2: It is now September, and Dill has returned to his family in Meridian, and Scout goes to school for the first time. She is excited about starting school at last, but her first day of first grade leaves her feeling quite differently. Her teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, is a 21 -year-old teacher new to the Maycomb County schools she herself is from the richer and more cultured North Alabama, and she doesn't understand the ways of Maycomb yet. Half of the students failed first grade the year before. When Miss Caroline puts the alphabet on the board and asks the class if they know it, Scout reads it through, then reads from her reader and from the local paper.
Miss Caroline forbids Scout to let Atticus teach her to read anymore, as she claims that Scout is learning wrongly. Scout doesn't remember learning how to read. When Miss Caroline forbids her to continue reading, she realizes how important it is to her. Jem tries to reassure Scout at recess, telling her that Miss Caroline is introducing a new teaching technique that he calls the Dewey Decimal System. Back in school, Scout gets bored and starts writing a letter to Dill, but is criticized again by her teacher for knowing how to write in script when she's only supposed to print in first grade. Scout blames Calpurnia for teaching her how to write in script on rainy days.
Lunchtime comes around and Miss Caroline asks everyone to show his or her lunch pails that arent going home to eat. One boy, Walter Cunningham, has no pail and refuses to accept Miss Caroline's loan of a quarter to buy something with. Miss Caroline doesn't understand, and a classmate asks Scout to help out. Scout explains that Walter is a Cunningham, but Miss Caroline doesn't know what that means. Scout says that the Cunningham's don't accept other people's help, they just try to get by with what little they have. The Cunningham's are farmers who don't have actual money now that the Depression is on.
When Scout explains that Walter can't pay back the lunch money Miss Caroline offered, the teacher taps Scout's hand with a ruler and makes her stand in the corner of the room. The first half of the day ends and Scout sees Miss Caroline bury her head in her arms as the children leave the room, but she doesn't feel sorry for her after her unfriendly treatment that morning. Chapter 3: Jem invites Walter Cunningham over for lunch when he finds out that the boy doesn't have much food. Walter cant decide at first but then accepts their offer. At the Finches' house, Atticus and Walter discuss farming, and Scout is surprised by their adult speech.
Walter asks for some molasses and proceeds to pour it all over his meat and vegetables. Scout rudely asks him what he's doing and Calpurnia gives her a lecture in the kitchen about how to treat guests, even if they " re from a family like the Cunningham's. Back at school, there's a big scene when Miss Caroline screams upon seeing a cootie crawl off Burris Ewell's. Their children come to school on the first day of the year and then are never seen again. Miss Caroline wants Burris to go home and take a bath, but he doesn't leave the room, he lives for the rest of the year, yelling crude insults at her and making her cry.
The children try to comfort her and so she reads them a story. Scout goes home feeling down and discouraged. After dinner she tells Atticus she doesn't want to go back to school. Atticus asks her to understand the situation from Miss Caroline's point of view, Miss Caroline can't be expected to know what to do with her students when she doesn't know anything about them yet. Scout doesnt think its fair that Burris Ewell doesnt have to go to school.
As Atticus explains, the town authorities bend the law for the Ewell's because they " ll never change their ways. Atticus teaches Scout made a compromise, if she goes to school, Atticus will let her keep reading with him at home. Scout agrees and Atticus reads to her and Jem from the papers. Chapter 4: School continues; the year goes by. Scout doubts that the new educational system is really doing her any goods finds school boring and wishes the teacher would allow her to read and write, rather than ask the children to do silly activities geared toward Group Dynamics and Good Citizenship. One afternoon as she runs past the Radley house she notices something in the knot-hole of one of the oak trees in the Radley's' front yard.
It turns out to be two pieces of chewing gum. Scout is careful but she eventually decides to chew them. Jem makes her spit it out. Later, toward the end of the school year, they find in the same place a little box with two-polished Indian-head pennies inside, these are good luck tokens. They aren't sure whether these have been left for them, but decide to take them anyway. Dill comes to Maycomb, full of stories about train rides and his father, who he claims to have finally laid eyes upon.
The three try to start a few games, but they quickly get bored. Jem pushes Scout inside an old tire, but it ends up in the Radley's' yard. Terrified, Scout runs back, but Jem has to run into the yard and retrieve the tire. Dill thinks Boo Radley died and Jem says they stuffed his body up the chimney.
Scout thinks that maybe he's still alive. They invent a new game about Boo Radley. Jem plays Boo, Dill plays Mr. Radley, and Scout plays Mrs. Radley.
They polish it up over the summer into a little dramatic reenactment of all the gossip they " ve heard about Boo and his family, including a scene using Calpurnia's scissors as a prop. One day Atticus catches them playing the game and asks them if it has anything to do with the Radley's. They say it doesn't, and Atticus replies, "I hope it doesn't. " Atticus's sternness forces them to stop playing, and Scout is relieved because she's worried for another reason: she thought she heard the sound of someone laughing inside the Radley house when her tire rolled into their yard. Chapter 5: Jem and Dill have become closer friends, and Scout, being a girl, finds herself often excluded from her play. Dill has in childish fashion decided to get engaged to Scout, but now he and Jem play together often and Scout find herself unwelcome. She often sits with their neighbor, the avid gardener Miss Maudie Atkinson, and watches the sun set on her front steps or partakes of Miss Maudie's fine cake.
Miss Maudie is honest is her speech and her ways, with a witty tongue, and Scout considers her a trusted friend. Scout asks her one day about Boo Radley, and Miss Maudie says that he's still alive, he just doesn't like to come outside. She also says that most of the rumors about him aren't true. Miss Maudie explains that the Radley's are foot-washing Baptists they believe all pleasure is a sin against God, and stay inside most of the time reading the Bible.
She says that Arthur was a nice boy when she used to know him. The next day Jem and Dill hatch a plan to go leave a note for Boo in the Radley's' window, using a fishing line. The note will ask him to come out sometimes and tell them what he's doing inside, and that they won't hurt him and will buy him ice cream. Dill says he wants Boo to come out and sit with them for a while, as it might make the man feel better. Dill and Scout keep watch in case anyone comes along, and Jem tries to deliver the note with the fishing pole, but finds that it's harder to maneuver than he expected.
As he struggles, Atticus arrives and catches them all. He tells them to stop tormenting Boo, and lectures them about how Boo has a right to his privacy, and they shouldn't go near the house unless they " re invited. He accuses them of putting Boo's life history on display for the edification of the neighborhood. Jem says that he didn't say they were doing that, and thus inadvertently admits that they were doing just that. Atticus caught him with "the oldest lawyer's trick on record. " Chapter 6: It is Dill's last night in Maycomb for the summer.
Jem and Scout get permission to go sit with him that evening. Dill wants to go for "a walk, " but it turns into something more: Jem and Dill want to sneak over to the Radley's' and peek into one of their windows. Scout doesn't want them to do it, but Jem accuses her of being girlish, an insult she can't bear, and she goes along with it. They sneak under a wire fence and go through a gate. At the window, Scout and Jem hoist Dill up to peek in the window. Dill sees nothing, only curtains and a small faraway light.
The boys want to try a back window instead, despite Scout's pleas. As Jem is raising his head to look in, the shadow of a man appears and crosses over him. As soon as it's gone, the three children run as fast as they can back home, but Jem loses his pants in the gate. As they run, they hear a shotgun sound somewhere behind them. When they return, Mr.
Radley is standing inside his gate, and Atticus is there with various neighbors. They found out that Mr. Radley was shooting at a "white Negro" in his backyard, and has another barrel waiting if he returns. Dill makes up a story about playing strip poker to explain Jem's missing pants, and Jem says it was with matches rather than cards, which would be considered very bad. Dill says goodbye to them, and Jem and Scout go to bed. Jem decides to go back and get his pants late that night.
Scout tries to persuade him that it would be better to get whipped by Atticus than to get shot and killed by Mr. Radley, but Jem insists he says he's never been whipped by Atticus and doesn't want to be. Jem is gone for a little while, but he returns with the pants, trembling. Chapter 7: Jem is "moody and silent" after the pants incident. The new school year starts, and Scout finds it to be just as boring as first grade. She and Jem are walking home together one day when Jem says that he didn't tell her that when he found his pants that night, they were all folded up, and the tears had been crudely sewn up, as if someone knew that he would be coming back for them.
He finds this highly eerie. Then they find a ball of twine in the hiding place in the oak tree. They aren't sure if it's theirs or not, so they leave it for a few days. When it's still there, they take it, and decide that anything left there is okay to take. Jem is excited about sixth grade, because they learn about ancient Egypt, and he tells Scout that school will get better for her.
One day in October they find two little figures, a boy and a girl, carved artfully out of soap. Upon closer examination, they realize that they are images of themselves. They wonder who could have done it maybe Mr. Avery, a neighbor who whittles wood.
In a couple of weeks, they find a package of chewing gum, then an old medal for winning the spelling bee, then a broken pocket watch on a chain with an aluminum knife. Jem can't get it to work, but they decide to write a letter thanking whoever gives them these gifts. They write a note of thanks and leave it in the oak tree. The next day, they are horrified to discover that someone has filled their hole up with cement.
They ask Mr. Radley about it, which claims that the tree is dying and the cement will keep it alive. But Atticus, when asked, says that the tree looks very healthy. Jem stands out on the porch for a long time, and when he comes inside, he looks like he has been crying.
Chapter 8: winter comes to Maycomb and it's unexpectedly harsh. Mr. Avery blames the children for causing the bad weather, saying that disobedient children make the seasons change. Mrs.
Radley dies, and Atticus goes to the Radley's' house, but upon questioning from Scout he sternly says that he did not see Boo there. Snow comes the first snow Scout and Jem have ever seen. School gets canceled and Jem and Scout make a plump snowman looking like Mr. Avery using soil and snow collected from Miss Maudie's yard. Atticus admires the snowman but suggests that they make it look a little less realistic. Jem gives it Miss Maudie's hat and pruning shears.
Miss Maudie laughs at the impersonation. It's bitterly cold that night. Scout is awakened in the middle of the night by Atticus. Miss Maudie's house is on fire. Three fire trucks are trying to help, but are hampered by the cold, and one of the hose bursts.
Atticus makes the two children wait by the Radley's' house, where they shiver and hope that the flames won't come too near their own house. Miss Maudie's house collapses and her tin roof helps put out the flames. Miss Maudie will live at Miss Stephanie's house for a while now. Back at home, Atticus notices that Scout has a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Neither of the children knows where it came from. They realize that Boo Radley must have slipped it over her while they were engrossed by the fire Mr.
Radley, his brother, had been busy helping at Miss Maudie's house, so it could only have been Boo. Miss Maudie is unexpectedly cheery about the fact that her house is gone. She says that she wanted a smaller house anyway, and now she " ll be able to have a bigger garden. The fire probably started because she kept a fire going that night to keep her potted plants warm. Chapter 9: A boy at school, Cecil Jacobs, teases Scout, saying that her father "defends niggers. " Scout fights him over it.
Later she asks Atticus what it means, and he says he has decided to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who lives in a settlement behind the town dump. He says that there has been talk around town that he ought not to defend Tom. Scout asks why he's still doing it, and Atticus responds that if he didn't take the case, he wouldn't be able to "hold up my head in town, " represent his county in the legislature, or even tell his children what to do. He explains that every lawyer gets at least one case in a lifetime that affects them personally, and this one is his. He tells Scout to keep her cool no matter what anyone says, and fight with her head, not her hands. Scout asks if he's going to win the case and Atticus says no, but "simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win. " He tells her that no matter what happens, the people of Maycomb are still their friends, and this is still their town.
Back at school, Scout doesn't fight. She keeps this up until Christmas, when they all go to stay with their Aunt Alexandra at Finch's Landing. Their Uncle Jack comes to stay with them in Maycomb for a week, which Scout enjoys, because he has a good sense of humor, even though he's a doctor. Scout has been trying out swear words on the theory that Atticus won't make her go to school if he finds out she learned them there, but after dinner Uncle Jack tells her not to use them in his presence unless she's in an extremely provoking situation.
For Christmas, Jem and Scout both get air rifles. They go to Finch's Landing, a large house with a special staircase leading to the rooms of Simon Finch's four daughters that once allowed Finch to keep track of their comings and goings. Scout hates going here, because her Aunt Alexandra always tells her that she should be more ladylike she should wear dresses and not pants, she should play with girls' toys like tea sets and jewelry. She hurts Scout's feeling and makes her sit at the little table in the dining room at dinner instead of the grown-ups' table, where Jem and Francis are sitting Francis is a grandson of Aunt Alexandra.
Scout calls Francis "the most boring child I ever met, " and says that talking to him gives her the feeling of "settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean. " The only good thing about being at the Landing is Aunt Alexandra's excellent cooking. After dinner, Francis and Scout are outside in the backyard. Francis says that Atticus is a "nigger-lover, " and that now Atticus will be the ruination of the family, who won't even be able to walk the streets of Maycomb again. Scout patiently awaits her chance, then punches him in the mouth. Francis screams and everyone comes outside. Francis says Scout called him a "whore-lady" and jumped on him, which Scout does not deny.
Uncle Jack tells her not to use that language and pins her when she tries to run away. Scout says that she hates him. Atticus says it's high time, so they headed home. Back at home, Scout runs to her room to be alone. Uncle Jack comes upstairs to have a talk with her. Scout points out that he doesn't understand children very well, since he had never heard her side of the story.
Uncle Jack asks her for her side and Scout tells him what Francis said about Atticus. Uncle Jack is very concerned and wants to go talk with Alexandra right away, but Scout pleads with him not to tell Atticus, since she doesn't want him to know that she broke her agreement not to fight anyone over the issue of Tom Robinson's case. Scout overhears Uncle Jack and Atticus talking. Uncle Jack explains that he doesn't want to have children because he doesn't understand them well enough.
Atticus muses that Scout needs to learn to keep her temper under control because in the next few months, there is going to be a lot in store for the family. Jack asks how bad it will be, and Atticus says that it couldn't be worse the case comes down to a black man's word against the word of the Ewell's, and the jury couldn't possibly take Tom's word over the word of white people. He just hopes that he can get his children through without having them catch Maycomb's usual disease, " when people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro come up. " He hopes that Jem and Scout will look to him for their answers rather than to the townspeople. Then he calls out Scout's name and tells her to go to bed.
She runs back to her room. Years later, the older narrator says, she will understand that Atticus wanted her to hear everything he said. Chapter 10: Scout doesn't think her father can "do" anything he doesn't do hands-on physical work, he doesn't play football, he's much older than the parents of her peers so he's too frail for most activity. He also wears glasses because he's nearly blind in one eye.
Instead of hunting, he sits and reads inside. Scout is ashamed of her father because it seems like he can't do anything noteworthy. Scout has been dealing with a lot of not very complimentary talk at school about her father's case, but she doesn't fight anyone in public only family like Francis. Atticus tells them they can shoot their air guns at tins cans and bluebirds but tells them that it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Miss Maudie affirms this, saying "Your father's right! Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncrib's, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. " Then one day a dog named Tim Johnson appears in the neighborhood. He has a strange appearance and walks slowly with a twitch. The children tell Calpurnia, who takes one look and then immediately calls Atticus to tell him that there's a rabid dog in the neighborhood.
Then she gets the town operator to call everyone in the neighborhood. She even runs over to the Radley's' house to yell the warning to them. Atticus and the sheriff, Heck Tate, drive up, and the sheriff gives Atticus the gun. The dog is so close to the Radley's' house that a stray bullet might go into the building. Atticus reluctantly takes up the gun and shoots the dog. The dog crumples into a heap.
Jem is dumbstruck. Miss Maudie tells the children that their father used to be known as "One-Shot Finch, " the best dead shot in the county. She says he doesn't shoot unless he has to, because he feels like, when with a gun, God gives him and unfair advantage over living beings. Scout wants to tell everyone in school, but Jem tells her not to, because he says that he wouldn't care if Atticus "couldn't do a blessed thing, " because Atticus is a gentleman. Chapter 11: On their way to meet Atticus after work, Scout and Jem have to pass by the house of Mrs. Dubose, a very mean, sick old lady who sits on her front porch and yells at them as they pass by.
The day after Jem's twelfth birthday, they go to town to spend some of his money. On the way, Mrs. Dubose yells to Jem that he broke Miss Maudie's grape arbor that morning, which is untrue, and yells at Scout for wearing overalls. Then she starts yelling at them about how Atticus is defending "niggers, " and says that Atticus is no better than "the trash he works for. " Jem tries to follow Atticus's advice regarding Mrs. Dubose, just hold your head high and be a gentleman. In town, Jem gets a model steam engine and Scout gets a sparkly twirling baton.
On the way home, Jem suddenly grabs Scout's baton and cuts off all the tops of Mrs. Dubose's camellia bushes. They return home and gloomily await Atticus's return. Atticus comes home carrying green camellia buds and Scout's broken baton. He makes Jem go to Mrs.
Dubose's house and apologize to her in person. Scout and Atticus discuss the necessity of keeping one's head even when times get hard. Atticus explains that he has to follow his conscience, no matter what anyone else in the town says. Jem returns from town. Atticus says that one can't hold a sick old lady responsible for what she says. Jem says that Mrs.
Dubose wants him to read out loud to her every afternoon for two hours for a full month. The two both go to read to Mrs. Dubose, whose house is dark and frightening, full of medical equipment. Mrs. Dubose is lying in bed, and she looks friendly but her face is old and hideous. Jem begins to read Ivanhoe and Mrs.
Dubose snaps at him when he says any word incorrectly. As time passes, though, she stops speaking and her mouth opens and closes while her head sways from side to side. Jem asks her if she is all right, but she doesn't reply. In a few minutes, an alarm clock sounds, and Mrs.
Dubose's assistant tells them to go home it's time for Mrs. Dubose's medicine. This happens every time they go to her house. Scout asks Atticus what a nigger-lover is, and he says that it's just a meaningless term that "ignorant, trashy people use when they think somebody's favoring Negroes above themselves. " He tells her that these words hurt the people who say them more than they hurt him. The end of the month comes and Mrs. Dubose asks them to read to her for one more week.
Now they read to her for two hours before the alarm sounds for them to leave each day it seem that they stay there a little longer. When Mrs. Dubose makes remarks about Atticus's case, Jem responds with detachment and keeps his anger hidden. Weeks after the last day of reading, Atticus gets a phone call and goes to Mrs. Dubose's house for a long time. He comes back to announce that she is dead, and tells them that she was a morphine addict.
Every day she waited a little longer while Jem read to her, until she broke herself from her addiction to morphine, which the doctors put her on as a pain-killer for her illness. Atticus wanted his children to see her an example of true courage even though she knew she was going to die, Mrs. Dubose wanted to be free of her addiction. Atticus tells Jem that courage is about more than men with guns, it's knowing you " re going to lose but sticking to your views and fighting anyway. Mrs. Dubose won, because he died beholden to nothing.
Atticus calls her "the bravest woman I ever knew. " Chapter 12: Jem is growing up and tends to become moody and temperamental. Scout tries to give him his space, looking forward to Dill coming in the summer. But Dill doesn't come that summer writes to say that he has a new father and has to stay in Meridian. To make matters worse, Atticus has to leave for two weeks for an emergency session with the state legislature. Instead of letting the children go to church unattended that Sunday (last time they went by themselves, Scout locked one of the Sunday School girls in the furnace room telling her that she, like Shadrach, wouldn't burn if she had enough faith), Calpurnia takes them to the First Purchase African M. E.
church, an all-black congregation. Calpurnia takes special pains to make sure they are cleanly scrubbed and as perfectly dressed as possible on Sunday. At the church, a black woman named Lula tries to tell Calpurnia that white children don't belong at the church. However, Calpurnia points out that it's the same God, and the rest of the congregation welcomes the newcomers.
Scout is surprised to hear Calpurnia speak in the same black dialect as the others, which she has never heard her use before. Inside the church, everything is much simpler than in the church she is used to, and there are no hymn-books. Reverend Sykes announces that the collection taken up today will go to Helen, the wife of Tom Robinson. Calpurnia's son Zeebo, the town's trash collector, leads the congregation in hymns, singing each line and having the group repeat it back to him. Reverend Sykes gives a sermon, which seems similar to the sermons Scout is used to, except that he makes examples of particular people in the congregation to illustrate his points.
After collection time, the Reverend counts the money collected and announces that they must raise ten dollars to give to Helen Robinson. He orders for the doors to be closed until everyone gives more. After the service, Scout asks Reverend Sykes why Helen needs the collection money when she can still go to work and take her children with her. Reverend Sykes explains that she may have trouble getting any work in the fields now. Scout asks Calpurnia about this, and Calpurnia say that it's because Tom has been accused of raping Bob Ewell's daughter. Mr.
Ewell had Tom arrested and put in jail. Scout remembers that the Ewell's are the ones who only come to school once a year, and are what Atticus calls "absolute trash. " Calpurnia won't tell her what rape is. Scout asks why they don't have hymnbooks, and Calpurnia explains that only a few people at the church can read, she and Zeebo are among the few who can. Calpurnia used to work at the Landing and for Miss Maudie's aunt, Miss Buford, who taught her to read.
Jem asks Calpurnia why she doesn't speak with proper grammar around black people, and Calpurnia explains that it would be out of place, and that she would look pretentious. The others don't want to learn to speak the "right" way, she says, so she speaks their language. Scout asks if she can come over to Calpurnia's house sometimes, and Calpurnia says yes. When they arrive home, Aunt Alexandra is sitting on their porch. Chapter 13: Aunt Alexandra has decided that it would be best for the family if she stays with them for a while which worries Scout but she knows there's nothing to be done about it. Aunt Alexandra establishes herself in the neighborhood and continues to pester the children about what they should and shouldn't do.
She is old-fashioned and proper, and she often refers to the people of Maycomb in light of their family history. She seems to believe that behaviors and character traits are passed on from one generation to the next through heredity one family might have a Gambling Streak, or a Mean Streak, or a Funny Streak. She also judges families on the basis of how long they " ve been settled in the same place. Those who have stayed in the same places for many generations are deemed, Fine Folks, where as Scout always thought that "Fine Folks" were those who did the best they could with the sense they had. In Aunt Alexandra's eyes, the Ewell's, who are very poor, are "Fine Folks, " because they have stayed on the same land by the town dump for three generations. Scout remembers how Maycomb was founded around an old tavern run by a man named Sink field.
Its location was very far inland and away from the only form of transportation in that day riverboats. Thus, families tended to intermarry a great deal, until most people looked fairly similar in the town. Newcomers arrived rarely and made little difference to the genetic and social mix. Most old people that know each other so well that every behavior is somewhat predictable and repetitive.
Aunt Alexandra wants the children to know all about the Finch family and uphold its genteel heritage, but Atticus hasn't introduced them to all of their cousins, and has told them stories about how their cousin Josh went insane at university. Aunt Alexandra tries to pressure Atticus into telling the children why they should behave and "live up to your name" but he finds himself incapable of doing it. Scout says "it takes a woman to do that kind of work. " Chapter 14: Scout asks her father what rape is. He tells her it is "carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent. " There is a family scene when Aunt Alexandra finds out that Scout and Jem went to the black church with Calpurnia. Aunt Alexandra tried to forbid Scout from going to visit Calpurnia in the future, and tries to make Atticus fire Calpurnia. Atticus refuses on the grounds that she's done an excellent job of running the house and raising the children, and the children love her.
Jem takes Scout aside and tries to tell her not to antagonize their aunt. He and Scout get into a fistfight, which Atticus breaks up, saying that Scout doesn't have to obey Jem unless he can make her do so. That night Scout and Jem discover Dill hiding under Scout's bed. He tells a long story about being locked and chained in a basement and escaping with a traveling animal show, then the real story about stealing money from his mother's purse, and walking and hitching his way from the train station to the Finches' ho...
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